A man who recruited his parents and a group of his friends to kill a love rival has been jailed for life.
Daniel Grogan, 20, was “consumed with hatred and jealousy” of Jay Sewell, 18, after finding out he was seeing his ex-girlfriend, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Sewell was attacked by a group of people in Lee, south-east London, on 11 December 2018.
Grogan was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 21 years having previously been found guilty of murder.
The court was told Grogan deliberately engineered a stand-off with Mr Sewell and his ex-girlfriend Gemma Hodder near to his family home.
Ms Hodder, 18, had driven her partner and some of their friends from Kent to see Grogan when they were set upon by a group armed with knives, hammers, a 4ft (1.2m) fireman’s axe and wooden sticks.
Mr Sewell was fatally attacked through the car window while his friend Charlie Pamphlett was stabbed in the back but survived, jurors were told.
Judge Wendy Joseph QC said Grogan “desired only revenge on Gemma and Jay” and had been driven by “self serving anger beyond logic”.
The 20-year-old was also jailed for five years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
Other members of Grogan’s family and friends also received jail sentences for their parts in the killing:
- Grogan’s 58-year-old father Robert, who had armed himself with an axe, was sentenced to 14.5 years for manslaughter, six years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder
- His 55-year-old mother Ann was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years for manslaughter and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder to be served concurrently
- His friend and neighbour Charlie Dudley, 26, of Grove Park, was jailed for 16 years for manslaughter, six-and-a-half years for wounding with intent and three-and-a-half years for violent disorder, to be served concurrently
- His cousin Liam Hickey, 19, of Eltham, was sentenced to three years detention in a Young Offenders Institution for wounding with intent and two years for violent disorder, to be served concurrently
In an impact statement read in court, Mr Sewell’s mother Sharon Louch said there was “no sentence this court or any other can pass which can come close to healing the pain or make up for not being able to look at my Jay’s face or hear him laugh”.
“Jay you were a blessing and made us proud from the day you came to us until the moment you were taken,” she said.
Others were previously sentenced over the attack:
- Francesca Grogan, 30, of Sibthorpe Road, was jailed for 12 months for violent disorder
- Jamie Bennett, 32, of Sibthorpe Road, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for violent disorder
- A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was handed a nine-month rehabilitation order and a supervision order for violent disorder.
Police have been given more time to question four men arrested on suspicion of committing terrorism offences.
Two men from London, aged 22 and 23, a 21-year-old man in Manchester and a 19-year-old man in Peterborough were detained in raids on Monday morning.
They were held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of a terrorist act. Police now have until 6 January to question them.
A 19-year-old man also arrested in Peterborough has been released on bail.
He was held on suspicion of encouraging terrorism. Police have until late January to carry out their inquiries.
Officers are continuing to search a number of properties.
The arrests, which were part of a planned operation, were not linked to the attack at Fishmongers’ Hall in London.
Separately, a 21-year-old man arrested on 28 December in east London, on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism, has been released without charge.
Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.
Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.
Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.
“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.
Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.
“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”
Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.
But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.
“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.
“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.
“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.
“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”
Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.
There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.
Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.
“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”
Black cab rapist John Worboys has been handed two life sentences with a minimum term of six years for attacking four more women.
The 62-year-old, who is now known as John Radford, was jailed in 2009 for assaults on 12 women in London.
The four victims came forward after the public outcry caused by the parole board ruling he was safe to be freed.
Sentencing Worboys, Mrs Justice McGowan said she did not know when “if ever you will cease to be a risk”.
In 2009, Worboys was locked up indefinitely for the public protection with a minimum of eight years after being found guilty of 19 sex offences against 12 women between 2006 and 2008.
Last year, the Parole Board overturned a decision to release him and ruled that he should remain in prison, citing his “sense of sexual entitlement”.
Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC told the Old Bailey that psychiatrist Philip Joseph found Worboys had been “fantasising” about attacking women since 1986.
A probation report in August this year found “he is potentially just as dangerous now as the point of the first sentence”.
After the four women came forward, Worboys, of Enfield, admitted two charges of administering a drug with intent to commit rape or indecent assault.
He also pleaded guilty to two further charges of administering a substance with intent to commit a sexual offence.
Mr Penny said the first victim was targeted in 2000 or early 2001 after a night out at a wine bar in Dover Street in Soho.
The second victim, a university student living in north London, was picked up after a night out with friends at a club on New Oxford Street in 2003.
Worboys’ third victim was picked up after a night out on King’s Road in 2007 where he told her he had won £40,000 at a casino and offered her champagne.
The court heard Worboys told the fourth victim he had won the lottery and offered her and her friend miniature bottles of champagne.
Mr Penny said: “She woke up in bed the following morning. The bedclothes had not moved and her hands were crossed over her chest, which was unusual.
“She was sufficiently unnerved to check herself. There were no visible signs she had been touched.”
Mr Penny told the court: “The consistent themes throughout, together with the content of what took place, seems to be the profound effect not knowing what happened has had in each of these women throughout their lives, as a result of having been unfortunate enough to get into the defendant’s black cab.”
Police believe Worboys may have carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults on women in London.
Becki Houlston, who has waived her right to anonymity, said Worboys drugged her in Bournemouth.
“He was pretty pre-meditated from the get-go, and I was a woman on my own,” she told the BBC.
“He is highly manipulative and relentless. It becomes easier to just accept a drink to shut him up.”
In Ms Houlston’s case, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
Reacting to the sentencing, the CPS’s Tina Dempster said: “John Worboys is a dangerous predator who still poses a clear threat to women.”
A GP who cited Angelina Jolie and Jade Goody to instil fear in his patients about their health has been found guilty of sexually assaulting 23 women.
Manish Shah preyed on cancer concerns to carry out invasive intimate examinations for his own sexual gratification, the Old Bailey heard.
He convinced his victims to have unnecessary checks between May 2009 and June 2013.
He was convicted of 25 counts of sexual assault and assault by penetration.
Jurors acquitted him of five other charges.
They were told afterwards he had already been found guilty of similar allegations relating to 17 other women, bringing the total number of victims to 23.
He will be sentenced for all the offences on 7 February.
The trial heard Shah mentioned a news story to one patient about Hollywood star Jolie having a preventative mastectomy, before asking if she would like him to examine her breasts.
In another instance involving a different complainant, he mentioned TV personality Goody – who died of cervical cancer – and advised an examination was in her best interests, it was claimed.
Prosecutor Kate Bex QC told the trial: “He took advantage of his position to persuade women to have invasive vaginal examinations, breast examinations and rectal examinations when there was absolutely no medical need for them to be conducted.”
A 12-year-old boy killed in a hit-and-run outside a school has been named locally as Harley Watson.
He was struck near Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex, at about 15:20 GMT on Monday.
A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of his murder, as well as the attempted murder of four other teenagers and a 23-year-old woman who were hurt in the crash.
One of the victims was described by his mother as “battered and bruised”.
It is understood all the injured children – two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old boy, and a girl, 16 – are pupils at the school.
Debden Park’s head teacher Helen Gascoyne, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected.
“The school will be open [on Tuesday] with a number of counsellors on hand to support our community.”
Christian Cavanagh, executive head teacher, described the Harley’s death as “a young life so tragically lost”.
He said: “This young man had made his mark on the school and was liked and loved by staff and students.
“We will consult with the family and our school community to decide how best to commemorate his life.”
‘I’ve been hit by a car’
Donna Mills, the mother of Alfie Barnes who was one of the 15-year-olds struck by the car, said he was “still in shock… battered and bruised”.
“He remembers the car coming towards him, he remembers getting hit, but it is a bit of a blur. He hit his head and I think he blacked out for a bit,” she said.
“Alfie rang me and said ‘mum I have been hit by a car’, so I shot down there as fast as I could. It was horrendous.
“It was… horrible to see, kids laying on the floor, just terrible.”
Essex Police said officers are looking for a silver Ford Ka that was “likely to have damage to [its] front”.
Earlier, the force took the step of naming Terry Glover, 51, as someone they wanted to speak to in connection with the crash.
A senior police officer convicted of possessing a child abuse video on her phone has been told she faces “immense” career consequences.
A court heard Novlett Robyn Williams failed to report her sister for sending the “disturbing” clip last year.
While jurors at the Old Bailey accepted Williams did not view the material, they rejected her claim she was unaware of its presence on her phone.
She was ordered to carry out 200 hours’ community service.
Williams had denied the charge, saying she “zoned out” when she received the video.
The jury was told she was one of 17 people to receive the 54-second clip via WhatsApp, and prosecutors had argued there was no way she could have missed its arrival in her inbox.
They said a response sent to her older sister Jennifer Hodge, saying “please call”, was evidence that she wanted to discuss the content.
Judge Richard Marks QC, sentencing, told the Old Bailey her “grave error of judgement” was likely to have “immense” career consequences.
The court heard Williams, who was commended for her work after the Grenfell Tower disaster, had an exemplary disciplinary record, was highly regarded for her work and was awarded the Queen’s Policing Medal for distinguished service in 2003.
Judge Marks told her it was “completely tragic you found yourself in the position you now do” considering her “stellar career in the police force over 30 years”.
She was cleared of a charge of corrupt or improper exercise of police powers in failing to report the distribution of an image.
As the prosecuting barrister, Richard Wright QC, noted, this is a “sad” case for all those involved, particularly for Robyn Williams who could well lose the job she cherishes.
She was the only one to be prosecuted of the 17 people who received the child abuse video.
Two individuals reported it, but no action was taken against the other 14, raising concerns among her supporters that she’s been unfairly targeted.
Did it have to end up in a trial at the Old Bailey? Or could the Superintendent have been dealt with through internal misconduct procedures, given her 36 years’ distinguished service?
There is also a wider question for all of us about our legal responsibilities when we’re sent material on social media that we haven’t asked for.
This case has demonstrated the risks of not reporting and deleting footage that contains illegal content.
Williams’ sister Jennifer Hodge, 56, of Brent, was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service having been found guilty of distributing an indecent image of a child.
The social worker had denied sending the video, which she received from her partner and allegedly depicted a young girl performing a sex act on a man.
Her barrister Andrea Brown also told the court the conviction had “destroyed her relationship” with her police officer sister, who is her only immediate family member.
Hodge’s partner Dido Massivi, 61, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years as well as 200 hours of community service.
The bus driver had denied two counts of distributing indecent photos and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image portraying a person having sex with a horse.
Prosecutors said there was no suggestion the defendants derived any sexual gratification from the images but all three will be placed on the sex offenders’ register – Hodge and Williams for five years, and Massivi for 10.
Both Hodge and Massivi were also sacked from their jobs following their arrest, the court heard.
Scotland Yard said Williams remains on restricted duties but that would be “reviewed now criminal matters are complete”.
A man accused of rape was caught on camera at a hotel just before one of his alleged victims smashed him over the head and escaped, a court heard.
Joseph McCann went into the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April, leaving two women in a car outside, the Old Bailey was told.
He was allegedly captured on CCTV entering the hotel wearing a tracksuit and a baseball cap.
Mr McCann, 34, from Harrow, denies 37 offences against 11 victims.
After going into the hotel, he held the front door open and glanced repeatedly outside while rapping on the window of the reception desk to speak to staff, the court was told.
He then told his alleged captives to get out of the car and smile as he put his arms around them.
Instead, one of them, a 25-year-old woman, grabbed a bottle of vodka and hit him over the head with it before running for help, jurors heard.
The trial continues.
A Primark security guard has been found guilty of rape after he sexually exploited teenage girls he accused of shoplifting.
Zia Uddin, 27, assaulted four 15-year-old girls while working in the Kingston store in 2017.
He threatened the teenagers with calling the police and their parents if they did not perform sexual acts on him in the control room of the store.
Uddin was also found guilty of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Kingston Crown Court heard how his colleagues had noticed his strange behaviour, which included making requests to delete CCTV, and not properly completing paperwork on shoplifting.
He was also known to keep condoms in the control room.
Once detained, some victims offered to pay for the items they had stolen, suggested they could work in the store to make amends, or even never enter the shop again.
However, once alone in the back office, Uddin made clear he was only interested in sexual acts in exchange for letting them go.
The court heard one girl only did as he asked because “there was no other choice” and it was the only way out of the situation.
Graham Partridge, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Uddin “preyed on young girls in a vulnerable situation”.
“He abused his authority by telling them to perform sexual acts for him on the promise they would then be released without their parents or the police being informed about what they had done.
“Having worked in security, Uddin was also well aware of the CCTV camera ‘blind spots’ and took advantage of these in order to carry out his offending.”
He added that Uddin claimed all the victims were liars and refused to take responsibility for his actions.
He will be sentenced next Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Primark said: “This has been a horrendous ordeal for the victims and their families and we are truly sorry for what they have suffered. Our thoughts are very much with them.
“The nature of these offences is shocking and distressing.
“Zia Uddin abused the trust that was placed in him by his employer, Brooknight Security, and by us, by taking advantage of his victims, who were young and vulnerable.”
On Saturday afternoon, the hot water went off in Alex Milsom’s shared house in west London. Discussing the problem with his housemates on WhatsApp, one person replied: “It’s because there’s a cage on the thermostat.”
“I said I would put the water back on, but obviously I couldn’t get past the new lock box,” Alex said..
His landlady had visited the property to install a clear thermostat cover over the Google Nest thermostat – which can control heating and hot water.
“We have no idea what the temperature is,” he said. “The Nest screen only lights up when you stand up close to it, but the box has stopped that from working and we can’t see the number.”
Alex, 21, has been living with six or seven others in a semi-detached house in Ealing since August. Rented from a private landlady, he pays £700 a month, and the landlady covers his utility bills.
In a multi-occupancy dwelling like Alex’s, the landlord is permitted to control the heating, with no rules against boxing-in the thermostat, experts say. The same is true of a standard rental property with less than three tenants, if the landlord pays the bills.
But, until now, Alex and his housemates have had control over the temperature of their home and the hot water via the thermostat in the communal kitchen.
“It’s just quite funny,” he adds.
“On Sunday night I woke up in a sweat because the heating was on, but the next morning I had to shower at work because there was no hot water,” he says. The water has since returned.
Alex shared his story on Twitter on Saturday, which went viral and prompted queries over the legality of the move.
So can a landlord box off a thermostat?
David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, says there are no rules around boxing off thermostats.
But adds: “It is a matter of good tenancy management and we encourage landlords to speak first with tenants before taking such action.
“In shared homes there can often be disputes between tenants who want the thermostat set at different temperatures.”
However, the issue is not clear cut.
A tenant has a right to heating and hot water, says Daniel Fitzpatrick, a partner at Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors.
But whether a landlord can box off a thermostat depends on the terms of the tenancy agreement.
“If the tenant is just paying a basic agreement where bills are not included, that could be why the landlord installed the fitting – usually thermostats can be covered,” he says.
“Should that not be the case, then there could be various actions against the landlord.
“It’s a basic right to be able to turn on heating and hot water, and it would be a breach of health and safety if the tenant could not.”
Housing experts from Citizens Advice say the legality of a landlord-controlled thermostat is likely to rely on whether it results in hazards – excess cold or possibly extreme heat.
According to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), which governs housing conditions, heating can be centrally controlled by the landlord in a house in multiple occupation.
But the guidance adds that if this causes “unreasonable extremes in temperature” then this may represent a hazard – over which the local authority can take action against the landlord.
Risks of adverse health effects arise when indoor temperature drops below 19C, with serious health risks occurring below 16C, it says.
What can a tenant do if they are still unhappy?
Under the new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, all residential tenancies after 20 March 2019 are required to be free of hazards.
If a tenant feels this is not the case they could try making a claim against the landlord.
But Citizens Advice says it is better to try to “negotiate amicably” if at all possible – “due to the limited security of tenure which private tenants tend to have” – and it warns of the risk of an escalating row.
“The tenants might consider trying to take control of the heating themselves by using electric heaters.
“There is a risk, however, that the landlord may respond negatively to a huge electricity bill, and perhaps seek to serve a section 21 notice (no fault eviction notice) to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, or seek to alter the rent or other tenancy terms as a condition of any renewal.”